Liban Post Shows Its True Colors

A few weeks ago, I commended Liban Post for their speedy parcel services, particularly to international destinations. I'd mailed a letter to Geneva, Switzerland, and it arrived within three business days. Last Saturday I went back to Liban Post, this time with a small package in tote destined for the Netherlands.

The main branch of Liban Post on Riad el Solh is grand--the space is huge, almost like a central train station, and there is a long counter staffed by six or seven agents prepared to serve you. You take a ticket as you enter the post office, and you wait for the automated voice to direct you to a cashier.

As there were just a few customers besides me, I was immediately summoned to cashier #3, manned by a no-nonsense woman named Hala. Hala took the package from me--a box of Easter maamoul pastries for a dear friend living abroad--and started grilling me with questions: package contents, sender ID, recipient name and phone number, and so on. We didn't make it past destination city, which was The Hague (Den Haag) in the Netherlands. Hala couldn't find it in the recently revamped database Liban Post has adopted. She tried every variation of the name (Haag, Den Haag, The Hague, Hague, and even Haagen Dazs at my suggestion), but finally shook her head and insisted I was mistaken. "Den Haag doesn't exist," she said flatly. Anyone who knows anything about European geography understands that The Hague is the third largest city in the Netherlands. Who was she fooling? I asked her if she couldn't simply pencil in the city name on the address label--did it have to be stamped out by her defective system? Hala motioned her manager Manal to come over and help, but she too was equally helpless and refused to take the package. Could Manal reference the city by the zip code, I prompted. She tried but claimed it didn't appear.

I swelled with anger and frustration at Liban Post's incompetence. Taking the package back in defeat, I hastened to my office just across the street and logged on to DHL.com. Maybe I'd mail the parcel with DHL, though I knew it'd be supremely pricier. As I entered the destination zip code, the website spit out a city by the name of S Gravenhage, which a Google check confirmed was the postal name for The Hague. Smiling with victory, I grabbed the package and zipped back across the street to Liban Post. Again, I ripped a ticket from the dispensing wheel and waited for my number to be called. This time, Sara, a new hire still in training, hailed me over. I recounted my earlier debacle, and we went through the same tedious process once more. This time, Sara successfully found the city, the godforsaken S Gravenhage, but a new issue presented itself. She couldn't mail it as a "parcel," as it was shy of the 2-kg threshold, so she'd have to send it as an "international express delivery." What was the difference, I asked, bewildered? Price, it turned out. The night before, I'd visited Liban Post's website, and the rate calculator for a 1-kg parcel would set me back 28,150LL ($19). Now Sarah was quoting a rate of $44 for international express. Ridiculous. Not only had I been given the run around for Liban Post's ineptitutude at finding city names, but now I had to pay more than double the going rate?! Absolutely not. I instructed Sara to check with Manal, who picked up the phone self-smugly and dialed her manager, half-expecting to be corroborated. Nope. The customer was in the right. They'd been schooled.

No less than an hour later, after some inane oafing about and a malfunctioning address label printer, my package was finally ready to be mailed. The cost came to 33,000LL ($22) thanks to added delivery confirmation--not that I'd requested it, but there was no way I was going to strike up another argument with Liban Post at this point. I walked out like a champion, for whatever this skirmish was worth. Idiots.

Comments

  1. I hope whoever ends up getting that maamoul reads this, only to know the length you went to to send them their precious treat :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. now i know what you sent me before having it delivered !!!!!!! Danoooo .. love your mom and you!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear, we apologize for the bad experience you went through, and thank you for bringing it to our attention, could you please send us your phone number to customercare@libanpost.com, in order to investigate further and prevent this from happening again. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bunch of idiots and THIEVES. I never saw a postal service that actually SELLS TOYS AND HAIRDRYERS FROM CHINA. They're using their already existing infrastructure (delivery men, vehicles, offices) to sell their own products and make their own money.

    Recently, they've also started using their own employees to SELL THOSE NONSENSE SHIT whereby a poor employee at the counter looks into your eyes and tells you, " if you buy this from me I'll get points (as in promotion points or whatever)." Poor employees man.

    Libanpost is as shitty as all public institutions in Lebanon. Period.

    ReplyDelete

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